Keshav Maharaj grabbed the final wicket to ensure South Africa bounced back in emphatic fashion to claim victory in the second Test and guarantee they leave New Zealand with a drawn series.
South Africa demolished New Zealand’s hope of victory by 198 runs in the second Test in Christchurch. Also, it seems like it ruined their ambitions of retaining their World Test Championship crown.
It was New Zealand’s third defeat in six Tests in the last three months, and their second at home, where they had been virtually unbeatable in previous years.
A setback in India in December was followed by a surprising loss to Bangladesh in Mount Maunganui in January before being overpowered by South Africa this week at Hagley Oval.
An impressive victory against the Proteas in the first Test had given New Zealand optimism of accumulating enough WTC points to retain the championship they earned by defeating India in the final in England last year.
New Zealand is now sixth in the nine-team rankings. They have only managed to attain 28 Test Championship points from six matches, while South Africa is fourth with 36 from five.
Dark clouds are over New Zealand and they have to perform like absolute champions in away series now. The team at bottom pit, England, has only a 9.55 win percentage rate while the team at top, Sri Lanka, has 100% winning 2 off 2 matches.
“I’m so disappointed to be in this position,” Latham stated in the after-match interview. He further added that to make the 2023 WTC final, New Zealand have to perform much better away from home.
“One hundred percent we do. Obviously you go out with the ambition of winning every Test match you play, especially at home.
“When we head to England in a few months it’s important we shift our focus and try our best to win that series over there and get as many points as we can.”